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Top awards at OFVGA


April 30, 2009
By Jim Meyers

Topics

During the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association’s recent
150th annual meeting, some important industry awards were presented.
The following is a brief recap of the winner’s of the association’s
Lifetime Achievement Award, Award of Merit and the Ontario Golden Apple
Award.

During the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association’s recent 150th annual meeting, some important industry awards were presented. The following is a brief recap of the winner’s of the association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, Award of Merit and the Ontario Golden Apple Award.

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The Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award was presented at the 150th annual meeting to Hector Delanghe by Ken Forth (right) who has worked with him on many farm labour issues. Also making the presentation of the award are CEO Art Smith (left) and re-elected OF&VGA chair Brenda Lammens. Photo by Jim Meyers

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OF &VGA Lifetime Achievement Award – Hector Delanghe
Hector Delanghe, a Blenheim, Ont.-area fruit and vegetable grower and well-known to growers across Canada through his work with the Canadian Horticultural Council (CHC), was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association at it’s 150th annual general meeting.

In making the presentation Hamilton-area grower Ken Forth, who is chair of the OF & VGA’s Labour Issues Coordinating Committee (LICC), said that Hector, while having a successful farm business, is most noted for his off-farm representation of growers on numerous organizations that include stints as head of the OF&VGA, the national Canadian Horticulture Council as well as many farm labour, fruit testing, and crop insurance organizations.

He is a former chairman of the Burley Tobacco Growers Marketing Board and was a recipient of the OF &VGA annual Award of Merit in 1989. He is also a past recipient of the Ontario Golden Apple Award.

“Hector Delanghe, as most people in this industry realize, has dedicated himself to the betterment of the horticultural industry, in particular labour and safety nets,” Forth said, adding that Hector is a strong supporter of the concept of farm organizations working together.

Hector, 69, began farming when he was 16 and now farms 410 acres including 170 acres of fruit and 75 acres of vegetables and cash crops in Kent County with his son, Mark. He operates a farm market and retail/wholesale fruit packing line and Cherry Lane Farms, which provides crop protection products for area growers.

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Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association board chair Brenda Lammens presents the organization’s annual Award of Merit to Denton Hoffman at OF&VGA’s 150th annual meeting in Niagara Falls. Photo by Jim Meyers


 

OF &VGA Award of Merit – Denton Hoffman
Denton Hoffman, general manager of the Ontario Asparagus Growers’ Marketing Board, and the Ontario Ginseng Growers’ Association, was presented with the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ Association Award of Merit at its 150th annual meeting in Niagara Falls.

The award was presented by re-elected OF & VGA chair Brenda Lammens, who is also chair of the asparagus growers marketing board.

“Denton has been seen grilling asparagus everywhere – from the lawns of Queens Park to the streets of Brantford, and the aisles of the Canadian Produce Marketing Association convention and trade show,” she said about his passionate promotion of Ontario asparagus and his culinary skill.

During his earlier 15-year tenure as general manager of the Ontario Greenhouse Vegetable Growers’ Association (OGVG) he saw the need for growers to assure consumers that the vegetables they bought were not only good to eat, but also safe to eat, Lammens said. Denton helped to usher in a grower-driven on-farm food safety program in the greenhouse industry long before safe food handling from the grower to the consumer became the issue it has become today. At the national level of the Canadian Horticulture Council, he was a member of the committee that developed the current On Farm Safety Program.

“Denton’s impressive tenure with the OGVG established many industry milestones that remain legendary today in the horticultural world,” Lammens said in her introduction.

He also led growers through what was a very difficult post-free trade agreement when the sale of Ontario-grown greenhouse tomatoes into the U.S. was threatened and the continued existence of the grower association was in doubt.

Denton was born and raised in Eganville, Ont., in the Ottawa Valley and ran the family creamery after graduating from McGill University in Montreal with a degree in agrology. He later became general manager of Ault Foods (Black Diamond) in Napanee and then moved to London where he was general manger of the Elgin CO-OP before joining the OGVG.
 

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Essex County apple grower Keith Wright (middle) and his wife, Susan, receive the Ontario Golden Apple Award from Keith Lockhart (right), commercial manager – crop protection with Chemtura Canada. The company sponsored the award and wrap-up luncheon at the OF&VGA’s 150th annual meeting. Photo by Jim Meyers


 

Ontario Golden Apple Award – Keith Wright
Keith Wright of Wrightland Farms in Harrow, Ont., was presented with the Ontario Golden Apple Award at the annual meeting of the Ontario Fruit and Vegetable Growers’ (OF&VGA) and the Ontario Apple Growers (OAG) in Niagara Falls.

Keith was a voluntary member of a steering committee that worked four years to form the OAG in 2004 and since that time has been a director for his growing area near Windsor in Essex County.

He’s past president and is currently a director of the Essex County Associated Growers and is a director on the board of the Ontario Asparagus Growers’ Marketing Board. Keith is also a past director and former president (1993-94) of the OF&VGA.

Keith graduated with a degree in agriculture from the University of Guelph and began his farming career on the family farm. Wrightland Farms harvests 62 acres of apples as well as asparagus, cabbage, and cantaloupe fruit and vegetable crops plus soybeans and seed corn.

The award presentation sponsored by Chemtura was made by OAG chairman Brian Gilroy, who outlined Keith’s cutting edge farm practices in regard to Integrated Pest Management spray programs, irrigation, removing old varieties for new ones, and his attendance at industry functions.


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